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Metal





Vow of Volition Make the Final Round of the Battle for Warped Tour

The Vans Warped Tour was the first festival for many of us back in the day. As young'ns, it's likely we didn't necessarily think about all that went into figuring out the bands to book and play the whole shebang. Part of that process, at least locally, seems to be through a series "battle of the bands" style competitions specifically for landing a spot on the fest. Quite a few Portland bands have been furiously playing against one another for said spot, and djent/prog metal act Vow of Volition are one of the acts that made it to the finals.

Warped Tour was always the type of festival that included much in the realm of pop punk, punk punk, emo and metal, so Vow of Volition's advancement to the final round is no surprise. Their incredibly technical, at times jazzy metal stands out in Portland's pretty linear popular music scene, and is much worthy of the attention its getting.

Those that want to support Vow of Volition in driving home the permanent spot can go to the Battle for Warped Tour finals Saturday at the Hawthorne Theatre.





HEELE releases a sonic monsoon in new EP "Pathos"

The sonic monsoon that is HEELE has positioned project-founder Michael Henss on the lips of several local publications (now including yours truly). It should come as no surprise that the haunting prog rock that is displayed in HEELE’s debut record Pathos has garnished such attention, the music is far too energized to ignore. Pathos is a whirlwind of heavy electric guitar riffs and shell-shocking drums interrupted by brief eye-of-the-storm moments where acoustic strings shine. The music feels like a freeing of sorts for Henss who has played in several bands (Hellrazor, Ungifted, Dead Wives) over the years while working on this personal project since 2015, the music has bubbled beneath the surface long enough, and now it sees the light of day. As groups like The Mars Volta prepare to return, the experimental and progressive rock they have championed seems ready for another vanguard run, and artists like Henss have got a head start. “Losing It All” from Pathos is streaming below. - Rene Cobar





Pussy Stench - Dirty New Video "Honey Wine"

Tea time folks…if you don’t want to get dirty then go put on the tea kettle while we talk about Pussy Stench. They are a filthy four piece grunge band showin’ off some heavy riffs. This half male/half female group just released a new video for their track “Honey Wine”. This is a heavy track full of angst. Their grunge attack is abrasive for the bulk of the song but breaks down into a doom inspired, melodic bridge that gives the tune a great dynamic. Pussy Stench will be hittin’ up Duffy’s Tavern in Toronto on June 19th with Specks and Los Senores. – Kris Gies





Worshipper kills the shadows of metal's past in new album, plays ONCE 06.21

The glory of heavy metal in the late '70s and throughout the '80s casts a large shadow on the genre today, making it difficult for groups to rise to the occasion. Allston's Worshipper pays tribute to the grandeur of the past while also shining brightly enough to kill the shadows. In Worshipper's latest record Light in the Wire, the band brings the goods: yes, there are screaming electric guitars, agile drum fills, and soaring vocals but there are also bright synthesizer flourishes and gentle acoustic guitar overtures. The acoustic strings and synthesizers are in full display in the album's title track; they shine brightly among the power chords, passionate vocals, and steadfast rhythms, they summon the great power-ballads of the past for a modern audience. Worshipper will be playing at ONCE in Somerville on June 21st, bringing the old and the new aspects of metal to light. "Light in the Wire" is streaming below. - Rene Cobar

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New Baroness LP Available for Streaming

Gold & Grey, the fifth album from Baroness and first with Gina Gleason (on guitar and backup vocals), officially arrives on Friday, June 14 via Abraxan Hymns, but it’s available for streaming now via NPR's First Listen. A calculated, explosive sound provides a melodic heaviness that stretches the parameters. Some songs capture an anthemic aura; simultaneously, others bring you in close in a pensive, personal manner. It's a sonic journey of epic proportions.

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